One year after the arrest of Bernard Madoff sent shockwaves through the world of Jewish philanthropy, only a handful of charities and foundations that had invested in Madoff’s funds have publicly outlined reforms of their investment processes. Many others have yet to identify measures taken to change these practices, while still others say they have little intention of doing anything differently at all.
Much has been made of Madoff’s high-profile losers, but many of his victims were middle-class and working-class people who have been trying to cope after waking up on December 11, 2008, to discover that their financial future was suddenly unclear. The Forward spoke with more than a dozen of these individuals, and the predominant responses were anger and disappointment — not with Madoff, but with the government institutions that were meant to protect investors
The collapse a year ago of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, in which Hadassah had invested $40 million and assumed it had $90 million to withdraw, was actually the second blow to an organization dependent on donations for its survival. The global financial crisis was the first and more significant.
During the past year, the Forward has sought to cover the scandal from all sides — in news, features and opinion pieces, in print and online. The Madoff affair was even the subject of a comic strip — and subsequent news illustration — by the Forward’s Eli Valley, and an article in our Purim spoof.